This is how much taxpayers’ cash was spent on evicting and cleaning up after Travellers in Chesterfield area

Nearly £10,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on removing and cleaning up after Travellers who illegally set up camp on playing fields near Chesterfield, it has emerged.

By Michael Broomhead
Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 10:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 11:28 am

The Travellers spent almost a week at the fields on North Side, Tupton, last month.

Tupton Parish Council’s bailiffs served the group with a legal eviction notice.

The Travellers in Tupton.

Councillors said the Travellers caused damage to a gate and the fields, forced the cancellation of events and activities, and left human excrement at the site.

Councillor Ross Shipman, leader of the Liberal Democrats on North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC), said this week: “To remove and clean-up after the Travellers who broke on to the fields, it cost taxpayers a total of £9,285.

“We owe it to local residents to understand the cost associated with this sort of behaviour.

“Any other process required the police issuing a Section 61 notice – which they wouldn’t – or NEDDC taking weeks to remove.

“Tupton Parish Council was keen to have the issue wrapped up in a matter of days, not weeks, and evicted them under common law using bailiffs.

“The site was then cleaned by a specialist firm who deal with biological waste.”

Coun Shipman added: “A new security gate has been installed at the site, which was donated by Tupton RUFC.

“Huge thanks to their volunteers for installing it, reducing the overall cost to local residents.”

Earlier this year, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the Government will strengthen police powers and create a new criminal offence to tackle unauthorised encampments.

She said: “This new offence will enable the police to fine or arrest those residing without permission on private or public land in vehicles in order to stop significant disruption, distress or harm being caused to the law-abiding majority.”

A Home Office spokesperson added: “Police will be given powers to seize vehicles and arrest offenders. The measures will target harmful encampments which reflect badly on the wider nomadic community as a whole, the majority of whom are law-abiding.”

Gypsy and Traveller campaigners reacted to the Government’s announcement with anger.

“You are criminalising a problem that has been created by the failings of a political will to deliver appropriate accommodation,” Joseph Jones, of the Gypsy Council, told Ms Patel.

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